Any interest in unlimited downloads subscription?

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Any interest in unlimited downloads subscription?

As we've said before, Marisa and I have two main goals with Pixel Scrapper:

1) To inspire creativity in others while being as generous as we can.

2) To allow the site and its designers to be able to survive financially.

There are some things about our current donation-based download credit system that seem a little bit broken. On the one hand the percentage of people who are donating to support the site is currently too low to keep the site going, relative to the number who are taking advantage of all the free downloads... and on the other hand, those who have donated the most have indicated some dissatisfaction with the system. So there's a little bit of lose-lose going on at the moment smiley. We will continue to tweak the number of download credits required to download kits and bundles, and the amount of download credits people get from donating, to try to find the best possible balance... we certainly appreciate everyone's feedback, and we will continue to listen, and do our best to adjust.

One adjustment that we've considered is implementing a subscription system--again, intended to be as generous as we can make it. To that end we are trying to gauge if there would be any interest in such a system.

What we're thinking currently is a simple system that would allow unlimited personal use downloads (of everything on the site, including full kits and bundles), for $10 per month, or unlimited commercial use downloads for $20 per month. The subscription plans would not be mandatory, and they would not replace the current donation system, but would exist alongside.

As always we are committed to letting you know about any ideas or changes that we are thinking about, and getting your feedback. So please let us know what you think. Thanks to everyone for your patience as we try to create the best digital scrapbooking website that we can, that is also sustainable smiley.

First of all I want to let you and Marisa know how thankful I am for you generosity with the freebies you offer. While I realize that it does take money and support to operate an online site I have tried other systems with subscriptions and personally do not like them. Sometimes I may have a lot of time to scrap and may use some of the things offered while others times I have no time to scrap thus would be paying for something I wouldn't use at those non productive times. I try to donate when I can and am truly grateful for the freebies.

I'm conflicted.

My limited budget says "Yes! I could sign up for a month, download what I want, and just do that once a quarter (or whatever)."

My ethos says "Is that really fair? Is that the intention? To download everything in 30 days, and then quit?"

My desire to keep the site going because I like it tells me I would feel bad doing that, and that I would feel I was robbing designers, so I would be stuck debating on the membership.

So yeah. I don't think that helped at all, but that's where my thoughts go.

Perhaps instead of subscriptions, there could be an alternate payment method - to use cash (Paypal) instead of download credits. A person may just want one specific bundle/kit and would prefer to purchase it with cash so that they can retain their download credits for miscellaneous individual items.

i like the ide but as coutney says i think most people would download everything and just stop smiley I'm really interested in an unlimited download (forever) smiley

I don't know what to tell you about the subscriptions.

Personally, I've been saving up for the $20 donation...waiting to get closer to Mothers Day or my birthday. I guess I just found you at the wrong time of year for me...lol...between spring flu doctors visits, and my husbands root canal.

I agree with Jessica in that I prefer a 'forever subscription'... eg, pay $50 per year and get everything for the next twelve months (or part thereof if you need a pro rata system), or a Pay $100 for a lifetime subscription etc etc.

also like cynthia, i tend to not subscribe to monthly things... i'd rather save up and just buy what i want rather than paying monthly.

i DO like the idea of if i see a kit I like, i pay cash (Paypal) for it. The problem with that is it automatically gives our download credits a currency value and you might find that offputting for some users.... eg... I receive 7 DC a day which is 14c per day which doesn't seem very much when I spend x number of hours here yadda yadda yadda... once the amount/DC is created, then you are putting a value on people's time and efforts of your consumers.

I've been donating on nearly on a monthly basis anyway...so having access to more goodies appeals. However, I do agree that most people would probably take advantage of the situation and download ALL of the resources. It may end up defeating the purpose of trying to get a more sustainable amount of people to donate from month to month.

I would do it. It would totally be worth it.

Thanks for the feedback so far, everyone.

As has been pointed out, yes, we would have to do something to prevent people from signing up for a month, downloading everything on the site, and then canceling their subscription... that wouldn't be particularly sustainable for us smiley.

To prevent that, we'd have to do something like:

  • Take a year's payment in advance (and probably offer 1 or 2 months "free" in that case).
  • Take monthly payment, but build slowly up to unlimited downloads over the course of three months, or something (so the first month you would get 500 DC, and the second month 1000 DC, and then after than unlimited... or something).
  • Or offer a choice of the above...

I would be interested in a lifetime subscription. I've come to use the site quite a bit. Maybe with that, you could include a download history? smiley Sometimes, my downloads don't show up and I have to go back through all the pages I have just visited to find the missing one.

Many above have expressed my same concerns!

My biggest concern is that the number of people visiting, as I see it, keeps growing. As it grows more and more it will cost that much more to sustain it. My biggest concern is your "program" being abused no matter how many protections you try to put in place.

I have no problem with the current system...I think it is fair. If one cannot "afford" the bundle, then they can download individual items. I really think your current system is quite fair. If a person wants particular kits that cost more than their DC then you have the option of the $5 donation which would allow them to get what they want for a minimal amount.

All IMHO.

Since I donate $20 most months, I would see it as a great deal smiley
I think, however, that some kind of fixed subscription for 6 or 12 months to avoid hoarders.

Me personally, I don't have a lot of time to scrap. And when I do, I only download what I need. I get 10 free credits everyday and typically I don't even use all 10. But maybe if you went completely to a donation based system using what you already have in place which I think is fair. $5 gets you 50 credits, $10 gets you 100 and $20 gets you 200, which would appeal to people who scrap a lot or a little.

I agree with Janet...I am ok with the current system. But I would like the option of buying a kit in full via Paypal. Most of the time I just download one or two items at a time but sometimes the kit is very appealing and if I had enough credits I would purchase it...FOR CASH! smiley Quite honestly, I would never pay $20 a month for a subscription because like some others, I am not consistent - one month I might scrap a lot, the next I mad do very little. My budget is tight so I have to be prudent with what I buy. Being able to buy a kit when needed would be much better for me.

Like many others - budget puts contraints on my purchases at times, and so I have learned to be a savvy bargain hunter.

The current system here is very fair, in that whole kits generally require more than the expiring daily download credits that members are given, so purchasing more credits through donation (which do not expire) allows discretionary spending of these credits on kits that appeal.

In reality this donation system already gives us the ability to buy a kit that we want through paypal - by making the appropriate donation and redeeming the credits on the kit we want.

I confess that I do take advantage of 'buy my store' type offers but I realise that these deals are really not sustainable for designers and sites. Usually, they come to my attention through forums and newsletters I subscribe to, so I see them as a loyalty bonus I guess.

Jordan, you are definately on the right track with some of the guidelines to prevent being taken advantage of - memberships and subscriptions are great for the scrapper on a budget - maybe a subscription price can be a birthday present and then the downloads of new kits have effectively been prepaid and can be taken advantage of when money is tight.

The main drawcard for your site is community - the balance between generosity and extra bonuses for active participants is always tricky - subscriptions would be a great addition here

The current system works for me... I tend to donate as I am financially able & mostly use the dc's I get daily, occasionally dipping into the ones I received for donating. I don't know that I would be interested in a monthly download subscription...

I appreciate this website so much! I very much appreciate that you will also keep the old credit system along with anything new. Thank you!

I don't love subscriptions myself. I'm very picky about what I buy, and am kind of a control freak about what my money pays for. I prefer to download entire kits, but sometimes I don't love everything in the kit, so I would rather download individually. But I can definitely see other people liking a subscription option.

I hate to say this, but I think you may just have to stop being so generous. You might need to limit the amount of material available for individual download. That way if someone really loves a kit, say the Wadi one for example smiley, and it's not available for individual download (which I'm really sad about because now it's too "expensive" for me to download the kit with my current download credit allowance smiley ), then they'll have to donate if they really want to get enough credits to download that kit.....

Or another thing you can do is limit how many credits we get per week still based on our community points. I currently get 10 DC. If you changed it so that I get 20 a week to use however I want for one week, and then the next week it would top back off at 20 again, then you would spare yourself 50 DC credits from me a week. I would still be content because even though I get less credits, I could use them to download a full kit or individual--whatever worked better for me that week. Then if it was like that for everyone you'd save out on a lot of credits, and then I'm assuming you would be spared some expense? And I would think most people would be happy to compromise in light of the fact that we would still get to be part of this site and wonderful community, and understand that you need either more money or less expense to keep it running. But I don't know how realistic that really is, I guess.

Bottom line: Thank you for all you do! And if you want to add subscriptions I think it would be great, but I wouldn't expect to use it personally. So I'll see what I can donate this month. smiley You've softened my heart. Maybe you will soften other people's hearts too. smiley

Another thing you might think about to be able to keep the current system is to hold a fund raising drive. And as a bonus to people who donate a certain amount or more, they would receive an extra special deluxe kit as a thank you. Maybe also a special badge for participating in the fund raiser. smiley

Jordan,

Maybe you could do a 6 or 12 month subscription? Or, you can pay monthly, but you are locked in to 6 months minimum? And then offer a discount if you sign up for a year? I know a lot of kit clubs do minimum 6 months (I'm sure for the sustainability factor). I suggest 6, because I know that like most posters, my fun money is limited. I usually don't have enough to drop $100+ on a website or kit club at once.

You could also do a monthly price = x credits. And every three consecutive months you get 100 bonus credits, and every year an exclusive kit? So there is motivation for sticking to it. I know that's putting work on your designers, but hey, they have a year to come up with something right smiley

Wow! What a quagmire. It seems you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. I wouldn't mind paying for membership as I donate between 10 - 20 dollars a month, but I think if it were a 'fee' I'm not sure I would sign up for that. My mind says that I have too many subscriptions as it is. Humm... How bout single item freebies, the way you do now, with the ability to become a member for a low monthly fee and download the kits or bundles up to a certain amount of points per month. Everything more than that amount would be an additional donation. I think the 'levels' could be about the same as the donation amounts, like $5.00 for 50pts, $10 for 150 pts, $20 for 250pts. We could commit to the level we feel comfortable with and upgrade if we feel that is not enough points per month. Take a peek at the Silhouette America site and look at their membership levels and what comes with each one. I had been comfortable with the $14.99 a month membership, but when my commitment was expired, I down-graded to $9.99, but only because their 'credits' would expire if not used within 90 days. I was throwing money away with that level. Just food for thought. I love Pixel Scrapper and come hang out every day. xoxox Beth

What about changing the rules to the current system? For example, only allow a certain amount or time period of kits/bundles to be downloaded with donation. I think it would be hard to totally redo the system but that may just be me. smiley

I will say that no matter what, I trust you, Jordan, and Marisa will do the right thing when it comes to the site and all of us. smiley

I personally don't like the idea of subscriptions because I do not like feeling tied to anything. I just want to be able to buy something and have something from it. I'm not sure how much sense that made but I couldn't think of a better way to say it. smiley

I would be interested, but because I don't necessarily have the extra finances for it every month, I would also appreciate the option to only subscribe one month at a time. But I don't think that it is fair for someone to be able to download everything in a month and cancel, so it wouldn't be an issue for me to start with a limited amount of DC. However, because there is tons of stuff constantly being uploaded to the site, I think that would be an incentive for people to either keep up their subscription on a month to month basis, while still having the option to only pay the $10 at a time (since I clearly don't have $120 at one specific time to pay for a whole year's subscription at the beginning). So if you did the first month you start with "this many" DC, then upgrade it the second month, and third month, and after that make it unlimited, would it be possible for it to be non-consecutive months? By the fourth subscription, you should know that the person does come back, pay, and download when they can, but not necessarily four months in a ROW. But I also run a couple small businesses, so I know that's not really an ideal situation...

I DON'T like the idea of using Paypal to pay cash for Kits and Bundles though. I personally think if you do anything with those, you should just make them more DC. For me, personally, I like using this site because I'm not constantly using my paypal. When I want more DC, I'll donate to get the extra and have enough to get a few kits. And I think the idea of purchasing a specific number of download credits is more appealing than having to pay cash. It makes me think I'm getting a huge bargain (whether I am or not), because you're not seeing a dollar value on it, and you may be more willing to use 20 or 30 DC rather than $2 or $3.

I really like Lisa's fund raising drive idea. I was thinking along those same lines for another option, but didn't know how to say it. Thanks Lisa! smiley

I am new to the site. Joined about a week ago. It seems like overnight your policies have changed. I have not even used all of the original DC and now I am unable to download another kit, because you changed your poliicies. I have also noticed that one day an item was only 8 dc and the next day it changed to 18 dc. Not what I expected when I joined the site. Very disappointed.

Thanks for the feedback and ideas, everyone!

@Charlie: I'm sorry for your disappointment. This site is in beta, and we are in the process of trying to make it sustainable, so there are a fair number of changes that happen from day to day and week to week... mostly site improvements. We try to limit any changes to the dc system, and we always announce those changes. Please see my recent post here for more details. All of that being said, nothing should have changed from 8 dc to 18 dc. Please let me know the kit you are referring to, and I will certainly take a look at that.

Also, I am sorry for any changes that take anyone by surprise... it's just tricky to experiment, make changes, and try to make the site sustainable while also making sure that nobody gets blindsided by a change. We will do our best to make sure that everything is announced as clearly as can be.

If you ever do feel blindsided by a change, please just let us know, and we will do our best to make it right. (Charlie: I've sent you an email).

Jordan you guys are doing an amazing job operating this site smiley i forgot to tell you that i love the ide of unlimited downloads, i just hate the ide of people using you so to speak smiley And i know i would find it hard not to download alot in the begining just because i love your stuff so much smiley

I do think that you should keep it how it is right now and maybe add new options but i like the way it is right now too smiley

I think Meridy has a good idea of making the credits a weekly thing instead of a daily thing. Maybe if they replenish each week, it would slow the excessive downloading. If the weekly free amount is not enough for certain people, then they could donate to get more credits.

I agree with the weekly thing. Maybe 25-30DC per week rather than the 10DC daily.

I like the idea of $10 a month for unlimited downloading great idea. But there is that concern for me since the job market isnt good that I may get screwed on work and then I cant afford it on a budget

I personally think having the subscription system would be great. Maybe you could allow a choice of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or a year. I would sign up in a second. I don't think you have to worry about people downloading everything and never coming back, as y'all are adding new materials all the time. I think having an option of subscribing is a smart next step for your business.

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